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Virgen del Carmen

Virgen del Carmen

There are little paper flags from bow to stern on fishing and recreation boats. The sirens and horns seem to sound different. On board, young and elderly ... with smiling faces and a festive atmosphere. It is not a working day at La Vila’s port, it is the day of the Virgen del Carmen.

La Vila Joiosa has always been, and still is, linked to the sea. The fishing industry is one of the most important traditional economic activities in this town in the Costa Blanca region. In addition to fishing, there are other activities: water sports, pleasure boats...that stimulate the local economy, and engage La Vila Joiosa even more to the Mediterranean.

This combination of La Vila Joiosa and the sea makes 16th July, an intimate and special day for this seaside town, as they celebrate the Virgen del Carmen day, patron saint of the sea, fishermen and sailors. Most people still have a relationship with the sea through friends and/or family, which makes this day turn into a well marked date in La Vila´s calendar, even though it is not a local holiday.

In the afternoon of July16th the image of the Virgin comes down in pilgrimage to the port, to begin the Sailor's Procession through La Vila Joiosa Bay. The image of the patron saint of the sea gets in a fishing boat, then dozens of large and small boats, properly dressed up for the occasion, scort her along the bay, while sounding their sirens.

A picture that inspires gratitude, devotion and joy, and let many neighbours forget, at least for a moment, how hard life at sea can be.

As is written at the beginning of the “bajada” ( the walkway going down to the Centro Beach) in front of the Nautical Club, "There are three kinds of men: the living, the dead and those who go to sea" . It is a tribute to the fishermen of la Vila Joiosa .